Madonna en couverture du journal américain "New York Post": Madonna & l'enfant.
U.S. newspaper "New York Post", July 25, 2010.
Journal américain "New York Post", 25 juillet 2010.
Madonna & child
Pop and style icon taps 13-year-old daughter Lourdes to tell her what’s in ‘Vogue’ for new fashion line
By CARRIE SEIM
Last Updated: 8:15 AM, July 25, 2010
Posted: 3:33 AM, July 25, 2010
Mama does preach. In a fashion-meets-rock-god moment, Madonna will launch her Material Girl teen clothing line with Macy’s on Aug. 3, but instead of crowning herself the next Queen of Fashion, Madonna is offering her 13-year-old daughter, Lourdes “Lola” Leon, for sartorial christening.
“She’s 100 percent the creative force of Material Girl,” Lourdes’ father, Carlos Leon, tells The Post. “She knew exactly what she wanted. She’s a trendsetter that draws from all different things to put together a look. She’s into different cultures and brings that into her style.”
Cultures, of course, to which she’s exposed thanks to her “rock star” mom and her “city boy” Cuban father, says Leon.
“She gets to travel around the world and experience different cultures,” he says. “I think she takes a little bit from each culture, myself and, of course, her mom, and makes it her own. She’s very creative in that way — putting colors together and stuff I would never even think about. She has that natural ability.”
Proud Papa isn’t the only one who’s taken notice. Known for her bushy brows, sideswept bangs, torn tights and inventive-but-unpracticed look, Lourdes is a burgeoning style icon whom even her fellow contemporaries appreciate.
“Our readers are obsessed with Lourdes’ style,” says Teen Vogue fashion news director Jane Keltner de Valle. “She’s gorgeous, she’s cool, she’s got her finger on her pulse, she has the same kind of rebellious spirit as her mother, but she has her own voice as well.”
And she may just be stealing her mother’s spotlight. While Madonna, 51, is its maternal namesake, forever dressing America’s youth up in her love, and Taylor Momsen, the rebellious “Gossip Girl” star, is the delinquent-debutante spokesteen, it’s Lola who’s been anointed creative director and muse.
“She has a stronger point of view than Madonna does, if you can believe it,” says Rob Smith, Macy’s executive vice president for marketing, who recalls Lola shopping for months with designers and pulling clothes from her own closet to illustrate the fashion aesthetic she envisioned for the MG line, which includes a range of metallic tube tops, sequined leggings and enough cross-adorned and studded accessories to remake the “Like a Virgin” video.
The immaculate conception of their line officially began last July, when Guy Oseary, Madonna’s manager and business partner, approached Iconix Brand Group, home to teen perennials Bongo, Op, Mudd, Rampage, Joe Boxer and Candie’s. After six months of brainstorming, Iconix CEP Neil Cole says, “We knew we had a winner with Material Girl when we brought Lola into the process.” Then, early this year, the consortium invited Macy’s to join their fashion marriage.
Alice + Olivia designer Stacey Bendet thinks Madonna is wily to focus on juniors rather than a line for women her own age, something Bendet says invariably turns out “a little cheesy, a little tacky.”
“I’m usually kind of like, ‘Oh, God, there’s another celebrity trying to do another clothing line,” says Bendet. “But what Madonna’s doing for a younger market is actually really brilliant and new.”
Smith says working with Madonna, who often arrived in jeans with a “mom” demeanor, was easy and comfortable.
“But I have to be honest, in the beginning, I was a little nervous,” he confesses. “I remember walking in and seeing Madonna and thinking, be cool man, you’ve waited like 25 years for this to happen!”
One of his favorite moments of the collaboration was watching her and Mini-Madge interact as mother and daughter. “It’s kind of like, ‘That skirt’s a little too short,’” he recalls. “Or, we’re going through some of the things Lola brought in from her closet and Madonna goes, ‘Wait a second, that’s mine!’”
Lola is, in many ways, like any other teenage girl. She browses Topshop, loves to dance and plays piano. But unlike everyday teens, she’s on a first-name basis with designer Stella McCartney, wore a fringed Dolce & Gabbana skirt (paired with Doc Martens) to a film premiere last December, swipes Christian Dior shoes from her mom and is rumored to be enrolling at the LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts (a k a the “Fame” high school) this fall.
Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg won’t comment on Lourdes’ schooling and insists she’ll stay mum in press interviews for the time being.
But Lola’s voice comes out loud and clear in every one of her blog posts and tweets for MaterialGirlCollection.com. In her first entry, we learn about her favorite colors (“My favvvv color is black (just because it goes with everything) and my least favorite color is brown (because it resembles the color of something QUITE gross)”), and her hateration of a certain shoe style (“OK, but no joke, gladiator sandals are OUT. They came out in summer 2008 and I was like, ‘OK those are really cute. Then 2009 comes around and people are still wearing them, so I’m like, ‘OK whatever it’s just a phase.’ BUT NOOOOO. Because people are STILL wearing them...It’s been three years people COME ON!!!!!!!!! I’m just like what????.”)
In a later post, she divulges her love for vintage (“I’m going to East London in the next days, to this area called Bricklane, to get some more vintage, cuz you can never have too much vintagy-thrifty looking stuff...HOLLA”) and shares a shopping “score” (“So I FINA-FREAKING-LY found the sandals that are NOT gladiators. They are black leather and they lace up from the toe until the ankle. Giddy God.”)
These teenspeak confessions are part of the line’s clever marketing campaign, created to offer a glimpse into the life of a superstar’s scion, with the hope of reaching the line’s intended, and sometimes dubious, demographic, such as 17-year-old Jersey City blogger Arabelle Sicardi. The Fashion Pirates writer (whose blog scores 10,000 daily hits) says, “I love Madonna, but I wasn’t blown away with it. It’s typical girly things that you can find at Forever 21.”
Which, she adds, is where she and her friends most frequently clothes-hunt. “Honestly, I don’t know a lot of teens that talk about shopping at Macy’s and stuff,” she explains.
Of course, Macy’s is urgent to change that. In an effort to catch “fast fashion” retailers like Forever 21, H&M and Zara, the store is attempting something it’s never tried in its 152 years: stocking fresh Material Girl pieces on a daily basis at prices that undercut most of their other juniors lines. Most of the MG collection — including clothes, shoes, bags and jewelry — retails between $12 and $40, mirroring Forever’s price points.
“Teens shop with such frequency, we want them to come in and find something different every time,” says Smith.
The Macy’s Herald Square location has sacrificed 4,000 square feet of real estate for the line, and will host appearances by Momsen (for the big launch on Aug. 3) and Madonna and Lola on Sept. 22.
Despite these grand orchestrations, the MG line is sure to be compared to the spate of teen-celeb collections recently launched or planned: Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift for Wal-Mart, Selena Gomez for Kmart, Britney Spears for Kohl’s.
Gomez, the 18-year-old star of tween hit “Wizards of Waverly Place,” praises Lola’s style while defending the more down-to-earth aesthetic of her Dream Out Loud collection for Kmart, launching in August.
“My line may not be edgy, but that’s because I’m not edgy,” she says. “From my understanding, her line is more high-fashion.”
That, and heavily influenced by ensembles from Madge’s heydays, with hard-soft mashups of bustiers and ballet flats, floppy bow headbands and studded bangles, leather, lace, ruffles and rivets. The effect is Desperately Seeking Madonna’s Greatest Hits.
But can today’s pop princesses even name the Material Girl’s albums?
Teen blogger Sicardi breaks the news of Madge’s untimely demise gently. “Madonna is still amazing and everyone should respect her,” she says, “but it’s the time of Lady Gaga.”
(In all of the interviews for this article, only a teen dared utter such pop-culture sacrilege.)
“This generation knows everything there is to know about Lourdes and probably a lot less about Madonna,” says Louise Roe, a fashion expert on youth-aimed reality shows such as MTV’s “The City.” “The moms who are shopping for their kids will probably connect more to the Madonna thing.”
A point not likely lost on famously savvy businesswoman Madonna. Her association with the line could prove ironically reassuring to moms who remember their own Madonna-inspired tutu-and-leather outfits.
Designer Betsey Johnson, 67, responsible for designing some of those very looks, heads her own fashion family, collaborating with daughter Lulu Johnson-Margulies for the last 21 years.
“You’re too close, you care too much, you worry too much and you expect too much,” she says of mother-daughter collaborations.
Still, Johnson says, she wouldn’t trade their working relationship.
Neither would Lulu, who began working in her mom’s first store on Thompson Street at age 14. But she does suggest that Lourdes stay young as long as possible, travel, attend college and not compare her own journey to that of her famous mother’s.
“I’m sure Madonna, like my mother always did, just wants Lourdes to be happy and explore different things,” she says.
That, or take over the world, one sequined belly top at a time.
In April, Lourdes joined Madonna at a benefit sponsored by Alice + Olivia, where she wore a rockin’ leather jacket that no doubt inspired the “Moto CropPleather” one ($68) for the Material Girl line.
Photo: Sara Jaye Weiss/StartraksPhoto.